On Friday morning, tragedy struck near the Groom Creek area in Arizona, when a randomly unprovoked bear attack resulted in the death of resident Steven Jackson, 66.
According to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office the bear attacked and killed Jackson as he was outside drinking coffee on his property where he is currently building a home.
The bear dragged Jackson approximately 75 feet down an embankment, despite neighbors’ attempts to deter the animal with shouts and car horns. One of the neighbors managed to get a rifle and shoot the bear. Still, unfortunately, Jackson had already passed away due to his injuries.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department expresses that the incident is highly unusual, not having had a similar attack since the mid-1980s. Upon inspection, nothing was found on the site that would have provoked the bear such as food or water.
Officials believe that the animal’s aggression was potentially a “predatory response,” but the cause of this response is unknown. Sheriff David Rhodes of Yavapai County expressed deep sadness and sympathy to Jackson’s family, and the county is actively investigating the incident.
Officials ask residents not to shoot bears unless they detect an imminent threat.